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Category Archives: Product Marketing

CMMi – Capability Model

All right…with understanding of what CMMi is all about, what do we mean by maturity levels, and how we can actually map the maturity levels with the process areas, we are all set to learn about Capabilities, the maturities and capabilities have a great role to play in the entire CMMi journey.

In CMMI models, there are six capability levels designated by the numbers 0 through 5.

  • 0 – Incomplete
  • 1 – Performed
  • 2 – Managed
  • 3 – Defined
  • 4 – Quantitatively Managed
  • 5 – Optimizing

So I am sure you all will be in better control of things even as you have a look at the above mentioned “Capabilities”.

Let’s understand as to what they mean, we will start with very small description of these:

Level 0: Incomplete

An “incomplete process” is a process that is either not performed or partially performed. One or more of the specific goals of the process area are not satisfied and no generic goals exist for this level since there is no reason to institutionalize a partially performed process.

By Institutionalize we mean a process which is tailored as per Organization needs, and is stemmed out of your Organizational processes.

Level 1: Performed

A Capability Level 1 process is a process that is expected to perform all of the Capability Level 1 specific and generic practices. Performance may not be stable and may not meet specific objectives such as quality, cost, and schedule, but useful work can be done. It means that you are doing something but you cannot prove that it is really working for you. This is what that happens with quite a few project which you’ll or we have worked with! We know we are doing something, and that is why we are being survived, but that has nothing to do in terms of improving our cost. and quality.

Capability Level 2: Managed

A managed process is planned, performed, monitored, and controlled for individual projects, groups, or stand-alone processes to achieve a given purpose. Managing the process achieves cost, schedule, and quality. As the title of this level indicates, you are actively managing the way things are done in your organization. You follow metrics, you follow things like variance, scheduled variance etc., to make sure you and your project is on track.

Capability Level 3: Defined

A capability level 3 process is characterized as a “defined process.” A defined process is a managed (capability level 2) process that is tailored from the organization’s set of standard processes according to the organization’s tailoring guidelines, and contributes work products, measures, and other process-improvement information to the organizational process assets.

Again, I won’t go in to details of level 4, and level 5, so this is it for today, assuming you all are having a good go and learning experience in this journey!

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2012 in Blogging, CMMi, Product Management, Product Marketing

 

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CMMi – Maturity Levels – Initial – Managed – Defined

CMMi – Introduction to Development 1.3 : This is where we discussed about introduction to CMMi! Let’s move ahead and learn a bit more about Maturity and its associated parlance in real life.

So after understanding a bit about CMMi processes, what they are, what type os levels do we have in CMMi (Performed, Managed, Defined and so on…O. So let’s talk about this: If I ask you what processes are you following in your organization or in your project or do you even follow a process while you come to office from your home? Well the answer to all these is YES! There is process involved at each and every step of your journey. You learn alphabet via processes, you learn to cook via processes, you learn to drive via process…and each and every process and its stage is Performed, Managed, Defined, and then Optimized…

CMMi Maturity Level

CMMi Maturity Levels

In Tekriti is at 1 and or 2. We have been doing 3 all the way of our journey, but what we haven’t been doing is the organized way! We have been reactive most of the time and occasionally pro-active. So why shall we improve? For Clients? For our CEO? For our Business? No…No…No…You should improve for yourself…rest all will follow. As someone rightly pointed out, “If we do what we have been doing throughout the day in an efficient and effective manner, half of the “Innovation” is done!”

Maturity Level Details:

Maturity levels consist of a predefined set of process areas. The maturity levels are measured by the achievement of the specific and generic goals that apply to each predefined set of process areas. The following sections describe the characteristics of each maturity level in detail.

Maturity Level 1 – Initial

At ML (Maturity Level) 1, processes are ad hoc and chaotic. There is no stable environment in the Organization. Success in these organizations depends on the competence and heroics of the people in the organization (Remember I mentioning about depending on Heroes) and not on the use of proven processes.

ML 1 organizations will be able to execute the work; however, they frequently exceed the budget and schedule of their projects.

ML 1 organizations are characterized by a tendency to over commit, abandon the processes in the time of crisis, and not be able to repeat their past successes. This is very crucial, not able to repeat the success of the past. Does this remind you something? Did I hear some one say Uhh….kinda happened to me and my project? Believe me you’re not alone!

Maturity Level 2 – Managed

At ML 2, an organization has achieved all the specific and generic goals of the maturity level 2 process areas. This is highly significant, as this is the building block for all your further activities. Doing Generic Goals and Specific ones, make it easier for you to have a kick start to ML3. The projects of the organization have ensured that requirements are managed and that processes are planned, performed, measured, and controlled.

At this level we maintain that the existing practices are retailed during stress times…if the practices are in place then you have a better and managed performance according to the plan

At this level you have requirements, processes, work products, and services all managed. The entire status of the work related products (Like Requirement docs, Project Plan, Estimation etc.) along with the delivery of services are visible to management at defined points.

All te stakeholders are kept involved, they know about where we are…what is left and so on….

Maturity Level 3 – Defined

At ML 3, an organization has achieved all the specific and generic goals of the process areas assigned to maturity levels 2 and 3. There is a massive learning curve from processes perspective here at level 3.

A critical distinction between maturity level 2 and maturity level 3 is the scope of standards, process descriptions, and procedures.

At ML 2, the standards, process descriptions, and procedures differ from project to project, there is NO Organization level standard among the processes being followed. We do this and are good, and you do another one, and you also survive, but there is no STANDARD Org level process form which we can tailor all our prject level processes.

At maturity level 3, the standards, process descriptions, and procedures for a project are tailored from the organization’s set of standard processes to suit a particular project or organizational unit.

The processes that are performed across the organization are consistent except for the differences allowed by the tailoring guidelines.

Another critical distinction is that at maturity level 3, processes are managed more proactively using an understanding of the interrelationships of the process activities and detailed measures of the process.

Since we are targeting the CMMi V1.3, and hence I am not going in the details of ML4 and ML5.

 
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Posted by on January 16, 2012 in Blogging, Product Management, Product Marketing

 

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Social Media Marketing – and Measuring Impact

This is my effort to understand Social Media Marketing and its various elements. Though this is an on-going effort, however to pen-down my thoughts for Social Media Marketing will make it easier for me to recall the essence of it!

Today after going through various blogs and trying to understand What exactly Social Media and Social Media Marketing definition means?

The Contemporary WEB is defined by:

• The Content sharing;
• User generated content –text, video, photo etc;
• It’s Sociability;
• The active reception;
• The Media convergence;
• The Popularization of Social Media.

As per the definition – Social Network Site means

web-based services that allow individuals to (1) construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system, (2) articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection, and (3) view and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system.

Pretty straight forward and well articulated by Danah Boyd!

As per the definition – Social Media means

a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0,which allows the creation and exchange of user-generated content.

A group of internet based application means, apps like Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, YouTube etc.

Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing

In Social Media marketing these are the following REASONS why Social Media impact should be measured:

To determine Financial Return

Accountability

Demonstrate value and impact

Assessing resource need and

Testing the hypothesis

The variety of elements that social media has are as follows:

Every profile / page that is created, will have Connections associated with content around that.

will have the Environment, under which the profile / page is interacted, shared.

Every Profile / page will also have associated Bias, Credibility, Demography, ExpertiseFreshness, and Number and rate of connections (BCDEF, N – to remember easily)

Every associated connection will have a Direction, Initiation, and Emphasis.

The content associated with this will have Density, Valence, Proximity, and Attribution

In another post, we will talk about the various type of data elements and approaches to be taken for Social Media Metrics.

 

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Sortable.com – a search engine that finds the right product based on your criteria!

Skip the Research and Let Sortable.com Find the Product That’s Right for You

Name:Sortable

Quick Pitch: Sortable is a search engine that finds the right product or service for you based on your personal criteria.

Genius Idea: Lets users skip the research and easily find what they are looking for all on one site without having to search Google.

Searching the Internet to find the exact product or service you want is too often frustrating, overwhelming and time-consuming. But a new startup company now makes it possible to find exactly what you’re looking for all on one page – Sortable.com

Sortable is a search engine that quickly sorts through the products you’re interested in and discovers the one most suitable for you. Rather than clicking through hundreds of search results on Google or other search engines, Sortable helps users find the exact products they’re looking for based on their personal criteria, all in one place.

“Sortable helps you understand the real differences among the products you’re looking for,” Chris Reid, co-founder of Sortable, told Mashable. “Users tell us what’s important to them and based on the information, we point out all the best features about the products and services that they’re most interested in.”

Users can use Sortable to search for recommendations on products from five categories – TVs, phones, tablets, cameras, laptops. Once you choose a category, select the features in the personalized bar that are most important to you and Sortable will score the products based on your personal criteria.

For example, if you are looking for a pocket-size, waterproof camera with a gps system, all you have to do is check off these features in the top bar and Sortable will instantly sort the products for you based on your preferences.

After you review the list of recommended products, select your top two choices and Sortable will compare the products’ core differences to help you figure out the best one to buy and where to buy it.

Skip the Research and Let Sortable.com Find the Product That’s Right for You

So far, Sortable has provided 41 million recommendations to up to

English: The three biggest web search engines

Image via Wikipedia

four million site visitors before it officially launched on Monday. Although users can currently only search for electronic items, Sortable plans to add additional categories such as movies, books, vacation spots, restaurants, etc., in the near future.

Image courtesy of Sortable, Sortable

 

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Facebook Emails – Necessary evil?

Facebook is doing exceptionally well, with things going well, there is always a tendency to make it better, but all that should be done at the cost of making sure that 1), there is a definite need for the change, and 2) you actually have taken all the pros and cons in to account. Talking about the idea of having Facebook email:

Is It That Big of a Deal?
With so many free mail services to choose from already–do we really need a Facebook account?  Besides, doesn’t Facebook already have a message platform?  According to a Facebook blog post,“Messages is not email. There are no subject lines, no cc, no bcc, and you can send a message by hitting the Enter key.”  But the bigger question is, are people missing the email feature?  If there is no need or want–why create?

Many are predicting this email service will be just a big bullseye for spam.  Inside Facebook reports, “The first part of a users’ email address is their vanity URL address or http://www.facebook.com/name. Because those URLs are crawlable, that means bots will easily be able to find millions of email addresses to spam.”

Other critics are saying this is Facebook’s

Facebook-Email

answer to Google Wave, which didn’t get much traction.  “So far the early reactions to this new messaging system appear to be “meh” and “what’s the point of a facebook.com email address?” Some early adopters are finding it similar to Google Wave and that is not good news for Facebook,” reports  Boston.com.

Gmail Vs. Fmail?
For now Google isn’t going to be nervous of their new email competitor.  For one the Facebook email platform is too new, and second with their privacy record, Facebook might need a few updates before it could even be considered in the same realm as Gmail.  Tell us your impression of Facebook’s jump into email in the comments below.

 

Facebook has devised an interesting and people-centric approach to fighting spam. By giving out @facebook.com email addresses to all users, the company could have opened up potentially disastrous issues with spam. The first part of a users’ email address is their vanity URL address or http://www.facebook.com/name. Because those URLs are crawlable, that means bots will easily be able to find millions of email addresses to spam. However, Facebook is confronting this by using the social graph — only people who are a user’s friends or friends of friends can e-mail them. If a person not connected to a user e-mails them, it will go to the ‘Other’ part of the inbox. If they find those messages important, they can move them from that folder into the main part of the inbox. From then on, they’ll get all emails from that person immediately.

 

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Never Start Innovation with an Idea

Are you trying to come up with the next big idea to jump-start innovation in your company? Try another approach. Gijs van Wulfen gives us three reasons why you should not start an innovation initiative with new ideas, rather formulate a clear and concrete innovation assignment. Here’s how!

The fuzzy front end of innovation confronts you with a lot of questions. Please have a look at book ‘Creating innovative Products and Services’ where author tried to solve this with the FORTH innovation method.

Never start product or service innovation with an idea. Of course: innovation is initially about ideas. About getting the right ones. And realising these ideas in practice. A shining light bulb has become a global symbol for innovation. Just check Google images and type innovation and then you will see proof of this.

There are three reasons why you should not start with an idea.

  1. An idea makes you blind. Once you got your idea you will probably fall in love with it. That’s a great feeling indeed. But love makes blind, unfortunately. The psychological phenomenon of selective perception will make you see only the positive points of the idea and only listen to people who are supporting you. And in trying to realise the idea you will run in 80 percent of the cases into a hard wall, which will wake you up. Not having an alternative available to realise your personal challenge.
  2. It’s very difficult to convince others. What happens when you tell your idea to someone else? Their first reaction starts often with a ‘but……….’. Others within your company will start criticising your idea the moment it is told to them. An important reason is that the idea is not theirs. Furthermore companies and organisations are organised to get a grip on the current operational processes and to give account of the results produced. Should the size and complexity of the organisation increase, innovation becomes more difficult. The process of innovation seems almost unnatural. A solution is getting ideas together in a team setting so the ownership of the idea is shared.
  3. Only one and a half out of seven new product ideas is really introduced. A number of studies on new product innovation (Robert G. Cooper, 2011) showed that for every seven new-product ideas, about 4 enter development, 1.5 are launched and only 1 succeeds. These are poor odds. There is a chance of around 1 out of 5 that your idea will reach the market. So what do you do when your boss, the vice-president marketing or the innovation board stops your new product idea? Do you have any alternatives available to realise your business challenge? So never bet on one horse. That’s the message.

So, how should you start innovation?

You should never start an innovation expedition unprepared. As good preparation not only increases the chances of success but it also creates priorities, direction and the will to succeed. That’s why it is essential to start with a clear and concrete innovation assignment. This forces the top management in your company, from the start, to be concrete about the market/target group for which the innovations must be developed and which criteria these new concepts must meet. This forms the guidelines for you and your innovation team when you are underway. You can formulate the innovation assignment with the help of the following six questions:

  1. Why?  (Why do we want to innovate);
  2. Who?  (Who is the target group);
  3. Where?  (For which distribution channels, countries, regions or continents);
  4. What?  (Evolutionary or revolutionary; products, services and/or business models);
  5. When? (Intended year of introduction);
  6. Which? (Which criteria the new concepts should meet);

So in discussion with your top management, you can collectively formulate which criteria the new product/service ideas must meet as well as determine the ambition level.

 

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Why Product Managers are worth their weight in gold

Why Product Managers are worth their weight in gold

Part 1: Product Managers Gold Series – Setting Strategic Direction

This is Part 1 of a series of articles we will publish on the role of the Product Manager within the new product development process.

A Product Manager plays one of the most valuable roles within your organization: managing the ongoing profitability and viability of their product/category. This very broad and critical charge requires attention to specific responsibilities requiring specific skills and talents. This article will focus on the responsibilities as they relate to new product development.

The driving force of a product/category is its strategic direction and framework.  For your company’s innovation/new product development efforts this includes the set of Product, Platform, Market and Technology strategies, as well as Product and Technology Roadmaps.   These elements focus resources on activities that translate into innovative, differentiated and profitable products. A Product Manager that defines and executes appropriate strategies that yield a sustainably profitable product/category is truly worth their weight in gold.

Before your Product Manager gets started

In order for your Product Managers to develop the appropriate strategic framework, they first need clearly stated and communicated business and innovation strategies defined by senior management.

The business strategy defines the long-term direction, or mission, of the organization, how the organization will achieve that mission, and what measurements will allow the organization to identify progress against or achievement of that mission.

The innovation strategy defines in what ways and to what extent the organization will use innovation to execute its business strategy. This boils down to defining what resources and the extent of resources to be allocated to innovation, and the types of innovations or levels of risk the organization will undertake in the pursuit of innovation.

Why is strategy so important? We’ve worked in organizations that have clearly stated strategies and those that don’t.   The difference between the two is like night and day.  If I had to choose two words to describe the company with strategies, and those without it would be ‘clarity’ vs. ‘chaos’.

The organizations with strategies provided clarity to the team and organization.  The strategies provided direction on where the organization was going, and how it was going to get there.  Everyone had their marching orders, they knew what to do and their efforts were aligned.  It was not uncommon to see the Product Managers continually referring to these strategy documents because they provided a framework and an understanding of the resources and constraints they have to work with.

In contrast, in organizations without clearly stated business and innovation strategies we’ve seen a lot of valuable time wasted by product managers forced to develop their product/category strategies in a vacuum, trying to  infer the direction of the organization or worse, setting direction without regard to the mission of the larger organization.  This situation creates chaos for the entire organization as the various functions try to cope with different agendas, different resource requirements and different priorities.

It takes effort and time on the part of senior management to develop business and innovation strategies, but the payoff is tremendous.   Ensure that your Product Managers are well-equipped with the strategic direction of your organization.  They will then be able to develop appropriate and aligned strategies for their products/categories.

The Product Manager’s role in defining new product development strategy

The following content provides an overview of the five key strategy documents that Product Managers should consider when developing their product/category strategy framework for guiding new product development.

Product Strategies

Product strategies help guide your organization in the development and evolution of categories, product lines and products.  The product strategy includes the goals for new product development within each category ( e.g. market share, revenue, new markets), the arenas of strategic focus (the markets, technologies, product types to be focused on), spending/resource allocation for each arena and a  timeline showing the planned new product introductions.

Platform Strategies

Platforms enable your organization to create new products faster and more efficiently by bundling together elements that can be common across multiple product lines.  A platform strategy guides your organization in the development of platforms and derivative products.  The important elements of the platform strategy are defining the capabilities and limitations of the platform, as well as creating the platform’s point of differentiation.  The platform strategy is also an integral part of developing product and technology roadmaps.

Market Strategies

Market strategies guide your firm in the development of markets and distribution channels.  The market strategy defines who the target customer is, what segments will be served, what is the value proposition or point of differentiation when compared to the competition, and what distribution channels are needed to reach the customer.

Technology Strategies

Technology strategies guide your organization in the acquisition, development and application of technology to gain a competitive advantage.   The elements of the technology strategy include identification of the source of technology, as well as the timing of implementation to support the product strategy timeline.

Product and Technology Roadmaps

Product and Technology Roadmaps provide the graphical representation of the current and planned evolution of products and platforms that match market need to specific technologies.   They basically illustrate the portfolio of projects that the organization needs to work on in order to achieve its business strategy and be successful.  It especially helps the organization with forecasting required technology and the skills that need to be acquired.

Communicating the New Product Development Strategy

To be effective, these strategies must be agreed to and supported by senior management, and clearly communicated to everyone involved in new product development. Progress against these strategies needs to be openly and continually monitored, with adjustments made to react to changing market, industry and technology conditions. We recommend monthly new product development portfolio review meetings and quarterly strategy meetings with the Product Managers presenting their findings to the senior management team.

Product Managers have the ability to make a real difference for your bottom-line.   You will quickly realize that they’re worth their weight in gold by 1) Ensuring your product managers have access to business and innovation strategies created by senior management, 2) Ensuring your product managers have the time to create and update their product strategies on an on-going basis, 3) Communicating the new product development strategies to senior management and the project teams, and regularly monitoring progress.

 
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Posted by on December 28, 2011 in Product Management, Product Marketing

 

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